Saturday, February 09, 2008

Origin of the Species

John King has reposted the article he and Jim Tranquada originally wrote at the request of Stephen Becker for last year's "Evolution of the Ukulele" exhibit in San Francisco. I had the distinct pleasure of hearing John's lecture on the same as part of a performance at the exhibit and it was truly unforgettable. I think this deserves a permanent link here on Ukulelia, as it should rightly be considered the definitive essay on the historical origins of our favorite instrument. Link


ukulele said...

Aloha Gary, Thanks for the plug. JK

Anonymous said...

An outstanding article by John K...lots of surprises for me including the fact that the ukulele appeared at the 1893 Columbian Expo in Chicago. I have some original materials from that fair and I'll have to sort through them to see if I can find anything about it. I also liked the description of the PPIE exhibit and the pic of the performers inside. I've only seen pics of the outside of that pavilion up until now. With 1915 technology and transportation, imagine how hard it was to get those tropical fish over to the US and then to maintain the tank! I'd like to know what all the instruments were in the picture, particularly the instrument on the left front. It looks kind of like a tenor scale ukulele, is it a parlor guitar or some other instrument?

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